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2012 NBA Offseason: New Orleans Hornets

Draft Grades, Offseason Needs, Free Agents


Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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New Orleans Hornets (Last Year: 21-45)


Live 2012 NBA Draft Grades:

1. Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky: A Grade
This was without question the no-brainer decision. Davis will be able to impact the game in so many different ways like he did for Kentucky. I'm just not sold on him being a "sure thing" in terms of a true franchise player. He's going to be really good, but can he be great?

10. Austin Rivers, G, Duke: B+ Grade
Austin Rivers has more potential than anybody on the board so the best-player-available theory is in effect here. It will be interesting to see how Rivers and Eric Gordon co-exist together in the same backcourt, and if Rivers gets a chance to run the point. Davis and Rivers was a dream scenario here for the Hornets, and they must be ecstatic with how the first round played out.

46. Darius Miller, F, Kentucky: A+ Grade
I'm a big fan of Miller and think this is a terrific second-round pick for the Hornets. He can help fill the void at the three left behind by Trevor Ariza. Miller's ability to mesh on several extremely talented Kentucky teams should translate well to his NBA future.


*** 2012 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***

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Washington 01-02-2014 01:10 am xxx.xxx.xxx2.73 (total posts: 1)
2     3

Beyond doubt NOT!!! I am a gorgeous woman . (hahaha, I have been told so) and my b/f is bald. I like his rtteuapion and I reckon he is so cute!! I have loved him since I first place my eyes on him. Only superficial people really care about that sh*t and you don't want to be w/ them anyways. I'd be more worried about how u feel about ur self. A woman can see that if you have self doubt. Just stay clear and you'll find a woman who is into the same things as you and she will be a gorgeous woman. I am sure of it!
Pelicans 07-20-2013 01:19 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.205 (total posts: 4)
5     4

Any other pelican fans wanna throw in their 2 cents?
Wow 07-08-2013 09:08 am xxx.xxx.xxx.205 (total posts: 4)
4     4

Ok so we're gonna have:
Davis at center.yay(not).but our saving grace!!!!!!a 3-some in the backcourt that is SO consistent.we should be the New Orleans Bucks at this rate(I do think we will sign a center-we better-but if we have this team to start the season then oh my).
Pelicans 06-27-2013 07:29 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.205 (total posts: 4)
5     9

Well for the draft it's now Len,Bennet or trade.we need a SF or C and if Len and Bennet are top 5 we should trade the pick because we are set at 3 positions.if those 3 options don't happen,I would pick with McCollum or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Pelicans 06-14-2013 10:47 am xxx.xxx.xxx.205 (total posts: 4)
6     8

I also think we need to trade at least Gordon and maybe trade Rivers.Gordon is good but he can't stay healthy.Rivers is a similar body type to Gordon.I think if they trade Rivers I think they should trade him to Boston for either 2 first rounders or a first rounder and 2 seconds.Gordon may be worth more valuable on the market but I can't think of a good team fit or return for Gordon though.the reason why Austin fits in Boston can be Rivers-Rivers.
Pelican 05-30-2013 11:04 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.242 (total posts: 1)
5     9

We need an insurance SG.realistic is Oladipo but I hope maclemore falls to 6.id even have a nickname for him-"professor" maclemore
Me 02-14-2013 07:45 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.90 (total posts: 3)
8     9

Say wha?
Me 02-14-2013 07:41 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.90 (total posts: 3)
31     8

Miller an A?
Me 02-14-2013 07:41 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.90 (total posts: 3)
8     9

Miller an A?
xxxxx 07-26-2012 01:27 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.168 (total posts: 1)
11     11

well after all the signings the hornets r a playoff contender
Unlikely 07-04-2012 12:31 am xxx.xxx.xxx.216 (total posts: 2)
14     14

Well what do you know, Eric Gordon is no longer with the Hornets. It's almost like they drafted Austin Rivers expecting Gordon to leave.
/pokerface
Unlikely 06-29-2012 05:45 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.216 (total posts: 2)
17     104

The Rivers pick makes me think that Eric Gordon isn't in the Hornets future plans. Rivers is the definition of a pure shooting guard and trying to have both him and Gordon on the court at the same time would be a recipe for failure.
Alvin 05-31-2012 12:15 am xxx.xxx.xxx.107 (total posts: 1)
30     15

I think we just solved a lot of the above issues, getting the #1 pick in the draft!! There is your upgrade at PF, although I wish they could still bring back Carl Landry. I like the amnesty of Okafor, but we need to resign Kaman, or bring in a legit big.
Geiger 05-12-2012 03:48 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.234 (total posts: 1)
28     21

I really hope the Hornets are able to come back strong and healthy next year. I think the perfect draft for them would be Robinson and a point guard could be in play. I think Lamb also would be a good addition due to his versatility and scoring ability.
Hmmm 05-12-2012 09:03 am xxx.xxx.xxx.108 (total posts: 1)
43     31

Am I the only one who thinks naming the team "Spirit" sounds kinda gay?




2011-12 Season Summary:
When New Orleans dealt superstar Chris Paul last offseason, the franchise knew it would experience a transition period. However, that transition was even more painful than anticipated; literally painful. Injuries riddled the roster this past season as only the New Jersey Nets had more players miss games due to injury than the Hornets, which ended up finishing with the third-worst record in the NBA.

The most impactful loss was Eric Gordon, the key piece of the Paul deal and expected cornerstone of that transition period. Gordon only played in nine games due to neck and back issues, and the team was unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension with him, which makes the talented shooting guard a restricted free agent this offseason.

Besides Gordon, a knee injury sidelined Emeka Okafor for 39 games. Key contributors Trevor Ariza, Chris Kaman, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, and Jason Smith combined to miss 110 games. Those injuries forced Gustavo Ayon, Greivis Vasquez, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Marco Belinelli into primary roles which explains why the team only won 21 games.

Perhaps the most important news for the Hornets is that they finally found a new owner. The league held control of the franchise for sixteen months until Saints owner Tom Benson purchased the team to help assure it would remain in the Big Easy. Finally being released from the grasp of league ownership, the franchise will enter a new era under Benson beginning with a franchise name like "Angels" or "Spirit" expected to replace "Hornets." A new breath of life is just what this organization needed. Now let's see if that can spark a quick turnaround with the product on the floor.





2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:


C: Jason Smith

PF: Gustavo Ayon

SF: Rashard Lewis/Al-Farouq Aminu

SG: *Eric Gordon/Xavier Henry

PG: Jarrett Jack/Greivis Vasquez



NBA Free Agents:


*SG-Eric Gordon (RFA)

C-Chris Kaman (UFA)

PF-Carl Landry (UFA)

SG-Marco Belinelli (UFA)

G-Jerome Dyson (UFA)

PF-Lance Thomas (UFA)

C-Darryl Watkins (UFA)



Offseason Transactions:


The Hornets acquire F Rashard Lewis and second-round pick (46th overall) from the Wizards for C Emeka Okafor and SF Trevor Ariza.





2012-13 Team Salary: Approximately $39.9 million


NBA Offseason Needs:


1. Extend Gordon: As I mentioned earlier, Gordon and the Hornets were unable to agree to a contract extension during the season, making him a restricted free agent. I would imagine priority No. 1 for the new ownership will be locking up Gordon to a long-term deal despite his injury issues this past season. More than likely, New Orleans will match any offer sheet he may sign with another team.

Therefore, Gordon either signs an extension with the Hornets or plays out the final year of his rookie contract that will earn him about $5.1 million and becomes an unrestricted free agent next season. If the latter happens, New Orleans will have to consider trading Gordon rather than risk losing him next offseason and getting nothing in return.

2. Power Forward: Jason Smith and Gustavo Ayon give the Hornets decent depth at power forward, but neither is truly a starting-caliber player. With Carl Landry a free agent, the team should be in search for a long-term solution at power forward. That is why I think Kansas' Thomas Robinson would be the ideal draft pick with New Orleans likely top-four selection.

3. Draft Wisely: With two lottery picks, the Hornets have a terrific opportunity to add a pair of young, talented players and help accelerate their rebuilding effort. The last two times the franchise picked in the top 10, it ended up with Chris Paul and Baron Davis. Hitting a home run with both of its picks and not selecting some guy who is out of the league in three years (i.e. Julian Wright) is certainly not an exact science, but capitalizing on the opportunity will be vital for the future of the team.

4. Amnesty Okafor?: Emeka Okafor is due more than $28 million over the next two seasons. That's an obscene amount of money for someone who has averaged 10 points and nine rebounds per game in his three seasons in New Orleans. Add in his nagging knee injury and the Hornets might want to use their one-time amnesty clause on Okafor, which would save them a ton of cap space.

5. Another Big: If Okafor is amnestied, this becomes a major need. Even if Okafor does return, the Hornets will look to add another center to replace free agent Chris Kaman and also provide insurance in case Okafor can't stay healthy.







2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 24


2014 NBA Mock Draft - April 23


NFL Free Agents - April 22


2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17


Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28


NFL Picks - Feb. 2





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